Saturday, June 11, 2011

Learning Curve

Today I spent an hour or so trying to work thru another learning curve.
Several years ago I tried sharpening one of my Grandfathers saws. I had little experience and no real training. My pitiful attempt created the expected result. I have since learned that the tooth configuration left on the poor thing is called cows and calves. 
Since then I have sharpened drills, chisels, planes, screwdrivers and myriad other edged devices but never another simple straightforward carpenters crosscut saw. 
I ran into my friend Sam a month ago. He congratulated me on my blog entries about sharpening auger bits. Then he said what I should really do is make a video about saw sharpening. 
I reread my sharpening books, studied videos, and went through the Galoot Central postings and pictures. The advice I gleaned from all this effort was to start with a rip saw, preferably one with a coarse tooth pattern.
Two weeks ago I was happily sorting through the remains of an estate sale and found a unnamed and badly abused rip saw with 5 points per inch. The potential victim and another crosscut saw followed me home.
Today I clamped up the victim between two boards, picked out a three cornered file, blackened the teeth and set file to metal. I ended up filing each tooth 1 stroke each over 3 passes and testing between passes. 

Not perfect but respectable results this time. Now on to crosscuts. I only have 10 or 12 to practice on.

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